Amidst the animals, people and vendors, there is an unfamiliar sight at this year's Hawke's Bay A&P Show - a giant blow-up bowel.

And while it seems out-of-place, it is planned to give the bottom line on cancer symptoms. The inflatable is a nationwide resource of the NZ cancer society.

It comes after Hawke's Bay became the seventh region to roll out the National Bowel Screening Programme (NBSP) aimed at detecting early signs of bowel cancer earlier this month.

All eligible Hawke's Bay residents, aged between 60 and 74, were automatically enrolled in the programme and pre-invitation letters would be sent out daily, starting this week, via a birth date system, taking about two years to reach all residents.


Hawke's Bay District Health Board Clinical Lead of the bowel screening programme, Dr Guy Vautier hoped the walk-through colon, complete with cancerous polyps, will give people an insider's view of the problem.

"Nobody wants to talk about their sewage works, so we are using this to capture their attention," Vautier said.

He said the NBSP was about "catching people before they get cancer".

The condition is increasing in frequency throughout the world and New Zealand has one of the highest prevalence rates. One in 18 New Zealand males and one in 21 NZ females experience bowel cancer by the age of 75.